Add to Starter (in a large glass jar):
3T of instant potato flakes
3/4 C sugar
1 C warm water
6 C white bread flour or 3 C white and 3 C whole wheat flour
2 t salt (double if using kosher or sea salt)
1/4 C sugar (can omit)
1 C chopped walnuts (optional)
1 C raisins or any mix of dried fruit, chopped (optional)
1/2 cup canola oil
1 1/2 C warm water* * Sometimes I use 1 1/4 C water and 1 1/4 C starter
1 C starter*
Feed the starter – take starter out of refrigerator and add the potato flakes, 3/4 C sugar and 1 C warm water. Stir to dissolve. Place cover on jar loosely. Place in a warm part of the kitchen, out of drafts. (If the kitchen is cold, I used to stand a heating pad, on lowest setting, on it’s side and form a circle with it and put the starter in the middle. An alternative is to put the jar in the oven along with a big covered pot of very hot water. Of course, in my Knoxville kitchen, I use my oven on the bread proofing setting. Lucky me!)
After about 8 hours, mix the dough using the rest of the ingredients in a big bowl. Knead lightly to form a soft dough. Form into a ball and flour the surface of the ball lightly. Cover the bowl with saran wrap. I use a clear shower cap for this with a small hole cut out in the middle. Let sit again in a warm place, as described above.
After another 8 hours or when the dough has doubled in bulk, punch it down, shape into 2 loaves and put in 2 greased loaf pans (Metal pans are best). Again cover loosely with saran wrap. And again set in a warm place.
After another 8 hours, or when the loaves have doubled in bulk, bake at 350 deg, for 23-28 min or until golden brown.
Note: If starter has not been used for 4 weeks or longer, add 1/2 – 1 tsp of yeast to starter when you feed it .